Opposition MPs suffer human rights violations against the backdrop of elections.

Venezuelan National Police members stand guard outside the National Assembly. © Cristian Hernandez / AFP

Torture, abduction, threats, acts of intimidation, arbitrary arrest, murder…just some of the alleged human rights violations cases recently reviewed by the IPU.

New allegations of human rights violations against parliamentarians in countries holding elections have recently been brought to the attention of the IPU. The cases involve opposition MPs whose basic rights to freedom of expression, assembly and movement have reportedly been severely curtailed in the context of elections, particularly in Venezuela, Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania.

In Venezuela, the IPU continues to monitor closely allegations of human rights violations affecting 134 parliamentarians from the coalition of opposition parties, against the backdrop of parliamentary elections scheduled for 6 December. According to evidence available to the Committee, almost all the parliamentarians have been attacked, threatened, harassed or otherwise intimidated by pro-government supporters.

In Côte d’Ivoire, the IPU reviewed the cases of nine opposition MPs who have suffered violations of their fundamental rights, including arbitrary arrest and detention. In 2019, five of them were detained in the country on charges of causing public disorder, challenging the authority of the State and spreading fake news. The IPU had concluded that there was no material evidence proving their guilt and that the charges appeared to be politically motivated in the run-up to elections on 31 October

In Tanzania, the IPU examined new evidence of human rights violations against Mr. Tundu Lissu, a former parliamentarian and the main opposition candidate in recent Presidential elections.

Mr. Lissu returned to Tanzania in July after receiving medical treatment abroad following an assassination attempt. According to information received by the IPU, since his return, Mr. Lissu has been the target of numerous death threats and intimidation in the weeks leading up to the Presidential election on 28 October.

The IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians is the only international mechanism with a mandate to defend the human rights of persecuted parliamentarians. Its work includes mobilizing the international parliamentary community to support threatened MPs, lobbying closely with national authorities, and sending trial observers. In a recent meeting, over three hundred cases of persecuted parliamentarians were discussed.

Find out more about the Inter-Parliamentary Union at ipu.org

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